“What’s the deal with trebuchet memes?” someone recently asked Reddit’s “out of the loop” forum. If you’re similarly out of the loop about the online resurgence of middle ages siege machines, don’t worry, there’s a semi-sensible explanation.
Things I found today: trebuchet memes pic.twitter.com/TVPJRpM4oB
— Claire et al. (@searchqueery) November 16, 2016
The trebuchet, a cousin to the catapult, is basically a giant stationary slingshot that uses a counterweight to hurl very heavy objects. It’s been centuries since the trebuchet was an important part of military strategy, but trebuchets are back, baby! Let’s take a look at why.
Trebuchet memes have quietly existed since at least 2015, but the great trebuchet meme relaunch seems to have started just a month ago. Someone on Reddit’s Today I Learned subreddit—a place that’s mostly made up of surprising or funny ephemera from Wikipedia—discovered the insane story of a gigantic English trebuchet called Warwolf.
“[Today, I learned] King Edward I built the largest trebuchet ever in order to lay siege to a Scottish Castle. The sight of the giant trebuchet so intimidated the Scots that they tried to surrender, but Edward sent them back so he could use his new weapon to launch 300 lb projectiles at the castle,” Redditor dryersheetz proclaimed.
The post was extremely popular, and seems to have catapulted (trebucheted?) the trebuchet into the collective imagination of the meme community.